This article was originally published on September 6, 2022.
As bleak as it sounds, there is value in efficiency when it comes to swiping. Because after lockdowns, cuffing season and the 'cost of loving' crisis, finding a match can feel like a chore. And as much as we believe in giving things a chance, we can't be swiping right on everyone because while we can be open to it all, we simply don't have the time, funds, or energy to pursue everyone that falls into our feeds.
So how do we filter through the worthy contenders from the not-meant-to-be-s? We all have our methods, instincts and checklists but according to the wisdom-filled depths of TikTok, checking for 'beige flags' may just be another ingenious way to see if someone is worth the effort.
What are beige flags?
Beige flags, as coined by TikToker Caitlin MacPhail (@itscaito), are the alarm bells that go off that suggest someone might be, as she puts it, "very boring".
In her viral video, the creator lists some common beige flags we're likely to come across that might indicate that this person is not worth our time. Though she explains her frustration over noting trivial items like reporting your disdain for coriander or exploiting the allure of puppies, there are also the more ick-inducing comments like when people state that they're "Looking for someone who can handle my banter."
While pink flags make us uncertain about a person as we piece them together, beige flags essentially stop us from piecing anything at all. According to MacPhail, "If someone has a lot of beige flags on their profile, you’ll probably get to the end of it without having really learnt anything about them," she tells Mashable.
While we love to see people not taking themselves so seriously, the belief that these details are supposed to draw people in is deeply misguided.
The thing with beige flags is that while most dating apps aim to provide the important information that you'd need to know before dating someone— including their vaccination status — the approach people take doesn't always leave you with an idea of who they are. Except maybe the lack of information does.
Sure, it's not exactly easy to bare your soul online, nor is it that realistic given the formatting constraints of profiles, but if you can say you don't know any more about a person after thoroughly casing their profiles, their lack of effort online could be reflective of their lack of effort offline. And when there are endless profiles to go through, identifying beige flags can save us precious time.
It's worth noting that not everyone's going to appear super interesting. Some of the best people you'll date may not be skilled in the art of the online profile, but it is worth having high standards for your matches and encouraging others to put effort into their dating app profiles. That way, scrolling becomes less of a chore for all of us.